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Leila seeks probe on hitman’s claim vs Rody

MANILA, Philippines — The claim of self-confessed hitman Arturo Lascañas that former president Rodrigo Duterte is the “lord of all drug lords” in Mindanao warrants serious and immediate investigation, according to former senator Leila de Lima.

Lascañas, who tagged himself as one of the leaders of the so-called Davao Death Squad, allegedly organized when Duterte was mayor of Davao City, named at least three shabu laboratories that the former president was allegedly aware of.

One shabu laboratory was allegedly located inside a cannery in Dumoy, Davao City, one was in Barangay Obrero and the third in Green Heights Subdivision.

“He launched a supposed war on drugs where thousands were killed, and he even set a three- to six-month ultimatum, but it turns out he was involved in drug syndicates,” De Lima said in a statement yesterday.

“They won’t catch true and big-time drug lords because they protect them and they are in cahoots,” she added.

De Lima, who was recently released from detention on drug charges she said were trumped up, claimed she was used as a “distraction” from Duterte’s alleged involvement in drugs.

“With many people killed and the widespread lies of Duterte, they can no longer hide this,” the former senator said.

De Lima was accused by the Duterte administration of tolerating and benefiting from the illegal drug trade inside the national penitentiary from May 2013 to May 2015 when she was justice secretary. She allegedly used the drug money to fund her senatorial bid in 2016.

Two of three cases against De Lima have been dismissed – through demurrer to evidence in February 2021 and through lack of merit of the prosecution’s case in May this year.